Back in the early days of online job searching, chances are, Monster.com was your best friend. Launched in 1994, the site quickly became a hub of activity to connect job-seekers and employers, and it's carried on that mission consistently for nearly 25 years-- hosting as many as one million job listings at any given time.

But over the years, Monster's mission has evolved, with content marketing playing a key role in its transition. In addition to a huge database of job listings, the site now also serves as a comprehensive resource center for everything related to workplace matters-- for active job-seekers, casual browsers, and the happily and not-so-happily employed.

I recently talked to Margaret Magnarelli, Monster's managing editor, about how she overhauled the company's content strategy and transformed the site into a daily must-read resource for job-seekers.

As it turns out, the company's content strategy comes down to just three key elements: "How," "wow," and "now."

Here's a look at how her team has used this three-pillar content strategy to catapult the job-hunter's site into a must-read resource for workers everywhere.

How: Service journalism that provides the reader with genuine guidance.

"'How' is service content, and we think of that in two different ways," Magnarelli explains. "One is the kind of content for SEO where someone is at a moment where they're trying to make a decision, and one piece of that is newsletter content. That kind of content is our bread and butter."

This type of content applies to tried-and-true jobseekers' service journalism--like tips on how to spruce up a resumé with a gap--as well as advice for less obvious jobseekers. For instance, the site includes content on how to deal with a toxic boss: "An article like that would be all about how to deal with that toxic boss, but the last point might be that if none of these things work, it might be time to find another job," says Magnarelli. "And it's said very honestly, but it's sort of a trigger point from the passive to active job candidate."

In your own business, understand what questions your prospects are asking--and answer them clearly and thoroughly.

Wow: Powerful content that can build an emotional connection with an audience.

When aiming for "wow" content, you want something that gets a genuine response from your audience--you want to create something they'll be driven to share with their own friends.

At Monster, a few examples include a BuzzFeed Tasty-inspired "Recipe for a Perfect Resume." In a more emotional offering, the company also created a series called "Life After Layoffs." "That was a heart-wrenching tale of a woman, a real life tale of being let go and how she got through it," says Magnarelli.

What content can you create that can genuinely connect with your audience? Look at opportunities to build in video, and share heavily on social media to drive more engagement.

Now: Content that resonates in the current moment, with a tie in to recent news or events.

Finally, there's "now"--timely content that discusses or informs readers about a current issue. For instance, says Magnarelli, "If the employment report comes out, my team gets on that right away and is writing about it that day at the same publishing schedule as a news outlet, but bringing our own analysis and take and data into it." One entertaining example? "With 420 Day, we did a story on legal marijuana jobs and tracked their growth on Monster."

When developing your own content strategy, think about these three pillars and build content that suits each one--or even all three at once.

Published on: Aug 14, 2017
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